Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Revision Revision Revision (+ Comic Con Draweth Nigh!!!)

Happy very last day in May! I can't believe how fast 2016 has gone so far. 0_o Seriously, can someone slow it down a bit??

Just a brief update for today… I'm hard at work on the third draft of my East of the Sun retelling, and I **think** it's going pretty well. I had a CRAZY MAD AWESOME idea that I'm suuuupppper excited about incorporating into this draft. If I can pull it off, it could be pretty amazing. We shall see!!

I'm bouncing around in this revision, which is kind of unusual for me, but I want to make sure and hit all my problem spots/new sections whilst I'm bursting with ideas about them. It's definitely working so far! My plan is to add in all the new bits, untangle my middle (yes, AGAIN!!), and then do a pass from beginning to end where I look closer at things like word choice, pacing, and whether or not all the new parts make any sense.

This could be over-ambitious, but I'm planning to have a completed third draft DONE in a week or two. Some friends and I are heading north for a mini writing retreat in a week and a half and I'd LOVE to have it finished by then. I'm getting super antsy to start drafting a new novel (which I'm calling affectionately EVIL COLLECTOR KING in lieu of an actual working title), and it would be awesome to get a solid start on it during the retreat, but we shall see………

In other news, hubs and I are going to Phoenix Comic Con this weekend!!! I'm sooooooo excited because:

  1. I've never been to any kind of con before and I've always wanted to
THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!!!! I'm sure I'll be sweaty and awkward and nervous, but I don't even care because BILLIE PIPER AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I hope my nerdy t-shirt comes in time. :-) :-) :-)

P. S. It's supposed to be 117 on Saturday and I'M ONLY LEAVING MY HOUSE BECAUSE BILLIE PIPER.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Exploratory Drafts and Revising

Just got back from a lovely visit with my sister and her husband in Omaha. It was a beautiful trip, filled with lotsa caffeine and laughs and green growing things.  Back in the arid land that is home now, alas………

On the roster for me: I'm about to launch into another round of revision for my fairytale novel! Just got notes back from my fantastical CP Jen, and her insights and suggestions are brilliant, as always—I'm continually in awe at the perspective another set of eyes can give you. Ack she's just the best!! :) :)

Revising is so weird, you guys.

I outline fairly extensively before I start writing, and yet at the end of my first (or second or third) drafts, my story structure/character arcs(/and, let's face it, PLOTS) still need a lot of revising. Why is that?

Not all writers' processes are the same, of course, but for me I think it has to do with my need to write through something before I know if it's working or not. It's like I have to explore THIS version of my world/story/characters first of all, even if it's not the correct/final version—maybe specifically BECAUSE it's not the correct/final version. You really do have to start somewhere!

I feel like each progressive draft you explore a little more—delving into this storyline or that storyline, following the threads of your characters and plots, trying to untangle them. You have to keep chipping away at the marble, circling closer and closer to what your story was meant to be in the first place. It's like getting your eyes checked for the first time—you have to reject a lot of blurry lenses before you find the ones that make everything clear.

Anyway, all that to say, I was struggling a lot in Draft 2 with the middle section of my novel. I got through it, but I knew it still wasn't working and I had no clue how to make it better. That's where a good critique partner comes in!! Jen pointed out a few things to do/try, and it's like a lightbulb clicked on in my head! Obviously it's going to take more work (and I'm sure hair-tearing and ice-cream eating and Netflix-bingeing) to iron out these wrinkles and make the material hang like it should (OMG I'm gonna get fired for using so many metaphors in this post). But it's so awesome to realize that it IS possible and you understand what steps you need to take to get there!

To sum up: critique partners are awesome. Revising is weird. :-D

Onward to Draft Three!!